Justin is, I guess, just a better person than me. Against my wishes he volunteered to participate in running a Ragnar relay station about an hour from Aspen, Colorado the night before our scheduled visit. He tried to tell me that it was no big deal because his shift was only 11pm-6am. He felt compelled to do it because it was a Scout fundraiser for the ward we attended there in Colorado Springs. The scouts got an impressive amount of money if they had the required number of people volunteer. So, as annoying as I felt that this was to my personal vacation plans, it's was twice as annoying that it wasn't something that I couldn't insist that he abandon.
Friday after work we loaded up the car and set off on a scenic drive through a place called Independence Pass. It was a pretty drive, but I found it to be anything but relaxing with narrow lanes, steep drop offs, and a few blind turns where the two lane road we were traveling suddenly became a one lane road without any room to pass, and without any warning. It wasn't the worst road I've been on, but certainly not the best either. We arrived at a hotel in Glenwood Springs, Colorado late that evening and Justin checked Vivian and I in, carted our stuff up to the room, and then left to begin his shift at the relay station in the canyon.
He returned to us the next morning, freezing cold and looking every bit the part of someone who spent the night standing around a relay station in a canyon all night. At least the army teaches you to function without sleep. He crashed for about an hour and then was up and ready to go see Maroon Bells. We had to drive to Aspen, where we had read that it was going to cost us $24 to park our car for the day, and then an additional $18 to pay for the bus up to the lake. There are other cheaper routes, but it involves riding a series of buses that would take hours, and as cheap as we tend to be, it just wasn't worth it, even for us. So we were thrilled to arrive and find out that the information online was inaccurate, and parking was $5. The bus was still $9/head, but worth it! The area is pretty busy, and if you had to deal with all that parking and driving up the canyon to where it's at, I don't think that there's any question that it would detract from the overall experience.
|This was our first view stepping off the bus.|
|Our first good view of the lake|
|So we feel like it lived up to the hype. It was spectacular.|
|A shot from the little river that drains out of the lake.|
|I had not expected the water to be this clear.|
|The second lake|
|Sometimes I think I'm a third wheel with these two.|
|She is her father's daughter. She loves the outdoors.|
I drove home, and Justin announced that he would stay awake to keep me company for the drive. I think that lasted all of about an hour into the five hour drive. I finally woke him up when I spotted a heard of Bighorn Sheep by the side of the road. He's fascinated with these animals.
Miraculously he did stay awake and keep me company the last few hours of the drive. We got back home at a decent hour, which usually doesn't seem to happen to us, and Justin collapsed into bed, grateful for once that church the next day was on the crappy 1pm schedule. Looking through our photos the next day, this ended up being our most photographed trip in Colorado, hands down.
|He's still waiting for the day that we see one with really big, fully curled horns.|